UFOs and aircraft

Jenny Randles. Something in the Air, Robert Hale, London, 1998.

This book is a plea for aircraft encounters with UFOs to be taken more seriously. To this end Jenny Randles appeals to her readers to avoid the extremes of dismissing such reports as nonsense, or attributing them to the activities of ETs in their flying saucers.

Some reports of aerial encounters with UFOs cannot be attributed to stars or meteors, or atmospheric optical phenomena. This leaves two main causes of such reports, if we leave out the ETs. These are: atmospheric electrical phenomena, such as ball lightning and other electrical phenomena not often observed, so unrecognised by science, and; sightings of secret military aircraft on test flights.

Apart from the classic cases which are discussed, there is much interesting and original material, particularly concerning British sightings. Jenny manages to explain some of the British reports as natural phenomena, or false impressions caused by unusual formations of aircraft, such as fighter planes being refuelled at night, giving the impression of a giant triangle. However, the theory that many sightings are of secret aircraft, manned or remotely piloted, being developed by British Aerospace at Warton, Lancashire, based to a great extent on the work of Tim Matthews, is highly controversial among British ufologists.

Jenny's work has confirmed the general impression that aircrews and air traffic controllers are reluctant to file official reports of strange aerial encounters. As she rightly points out, such an attitude is not beneficial to the cause of air safety.

This is definitely a book for the nuts-and-bolts ufologists to read and criticise, but it is not written to please the ETHers. -- Reviewed by John Harney, from Magonia ETH Bulletin, October 1998.

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